Suns' rally comes up short again

April 19, 2007|by BOB PARASILITI

The Hagerstown Suns have been here before.

Too many times.

It's getting to the point where one has to wonder if it's a case of deja vu or a film loop.

Once again the Suns erred early and rallied late to come up one run short. On Wednesday, Hagerstown committed four errors to stake Lake County to a six-run lead before another late comeback that fell short in a 7-6 loss at Municipal Stadium.

"We have had a lot of games that have fit the same pattern," said Suns manager Tommy Herr. "It seems like we are fighting an uphill battle every game."


The Suns committed all four errors in the first five innings to enable the Captains to jump out to a 6-0 lead. Three led directly to the four runs Lake County scored in the fourth and fifth innings.

"I'm not sure how many unearned runs we gave up, but we had some real sloppy plays," Herr said. "We come back, but we aren't good enough to overcome that many mistakes yet."

Lake County's only "unaided runs" came in the first off new Suns starter Cory VanAllen (0-1), who joined Hagerstown from extended spring training. Lucas Montero led off with a single and took third on Matt McBride's ground-rule double to left. Matt Whitney hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Montero and Jared Goedert's double gave the Captains the early 2-0 lead.

But a double error by second baseman Leonard Davis on Carlos Rivero's grounder in the fourth allowed Goedert to score from second before VanAllen's first start ended.

The Captains tacked on three runs in the fifth, aided by center fielder Justin Maxwell's throwing error. Goedert had an RBI single and Nick Weglarz had a two-run hit off reliever Chris Lugo for the 6-0 lead.

Then the game got to Suns' territory, the final four innings.

Chris Marrero got the Suns on the board with a two-out, two-run home run to left field - his first of the season - off Lake County starter Carlton Smith (1-1) in the sixth.

"Marrero hit a big home run to get us started," Herr said. "It was nice to see him get his first one out of the way. I think it was starting to weigh in him a little."

But before the Suns could think about completing a comeback, the Captains picked up an insurance run in the eighth on Roman Pena's fielders' choice grounder.

Then the Captains gave some runs back.

"It's hard to figure some times ..." Herr said. "They helped us out with the four runs in the eighth."

Whitney dropped a throw at first base to allow Francisco Guzman to reach to open the inning for the Suns against Luis Valdez. It led to Hagerstown loading the bases to set up Mike Daniel's RBI single and Marrero's sacrifice fly. Rivero kicked in a throwing error from short on Brett McMillian's infield single to score Micheal Martinez before Leonard Davis' RBI single.

It put the Suns in that familiar place of being behind by one run in the ninth. Neil Wagner didn't allow Hagerstown the chance to tie the game in the ninth.

"This is like the ninth time we have been in a one-run game," Herr said. "If you do it enough, eventually you will find a way to win. You just try to put yourselves in a position to win everyday. You keep doing it and soon it will go your way."

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